Today I am going to pick on Sears. They deserve it.
It all started with my choice of color in a new appliance. Two years ago, we had to buy a new washing machine and dryer. My husband—who is a plain-vanilla type of guy—let me pick out a designer color against his better judgment.
To be honest, he wasn't thrilled about the digital display and huge amount of electronic content either. He's a lot like my dad in that respect. Early in his career, dad was an auto mechanic. Perhaps because he saw the miserable way in which things can break, when it comes to his own cars he tends to avoid any advanced features— like automatic windows. He views them as points of failure just waiting to make his life miserable, like when the windows don't go up on a rainy day.
So back to washing machines.
Recently, we started to notice these tiny, orange-colored splatter marks on some of our clothes. My husband's favorite running shirt looked like he had participated in some messy carbo-loading before a road race. It was mystifying. But as I was removing a clean load from the washing machine one day, I realized that the gasket around the opening was loose. The machine—I kid you not—was rusting on the inside!
It just has to make you wonder, "What were those design engineers thinking?"
At this point in the story you probably expect that I called Sears right away to get a repairman out. But with our busy schedules, we kept putting it off and putting it off. I tried to save our clothes from further destruction by using a rag to wipe off the gasket area before the rusty water dripped on to the load of clean clothes. That strategy sort of worked until one day the machine simply clunked out.
My husband kept our old washing machine running by doing minor repairs himself. Though our new model may look sleek, he can't even get at the interior of it to diagnose the problem. So I finally broke down and called Sears. Remaining on hold for 10 minutes is not cool when it's a repair center you're calling, especially when the pre-recorded message says, "We are experiencing an unusually heavy volume of calls." So much for product quality.
And that designer paint color? It's all scratched up now, which makes me think dad knew best.
Do you have an appliance horror story? I'd like to see if you can top this one! E-mail me and I'll share it with our readers.